Fighting Summer Fatigue

Now that we’re over halfway through the summer, I find myself falling victim to my inner child whining “There’s nothing to doooooo!”  The novelty of splashing in the kiddie pool, experimenting at the water table, digging in the sandbox, walking around the block, collecting leaves and bugs ... it’s all feeling a little “been there, done that” lately. I think the boys are feeling that way, too, because they have taken to running away from whatever activity I’m trying to interest them in when we’re in the backyard. Evan takes off for the neighbor’s yard, Kostyn runs toward the road, the dog sprints in the direction of a rabbit she saw under the neighbor’s bushes three weeks ago, and I’m left scrambling to keep everyone corralled in a fence-less yard right next to a highway.

So our outings have become an exercise in my patience, stamina and agility. I feel more like a warden than a carefree mom on summer vacation. Plus, it seems like no matter how much I cajole Kostyn into peeing in the potty before we go outside, he opts to wait until I’ve finally gotten shorts and shoes and suntan lotion and art supplies and towels and kids and the dog outside before peeing down his leg and waddling over to me saying, “I peeeeeeed.” Inevitably this happens just when Evan is, against all odds, contentedly playing with something right in the yard, and I’m forced to pluck him out of the sandbox as he loudly protests, and drag all of us back inside to change his big brother.

Add to all that the fact that Kostyn has been going through a serious tantrum phase these past couple weeks, and I’ve got myself a formula for Summer Fatigue. I actually began daydreaming about snow yesterday, which really is insane given the fact that snowy weather means wriggling tons of layers on little boys, fighting with them to wear hats and mittens, dragging them around the yard in a sled while one cries and the other kicks the cry-er, and then bringing everyone inside to strip all those wet layers, towel off the dog, warm little toes and fingers, and inevitably soak my sock in a puddle of slush on the kitchen floor.

As you can see, I’m in serious need of an attitude adjustment.

To get out of my “woe is me” funk and gain some much-needed perspective, I spent some time really studying the snapshots I’ve taken so far this summer. I wanted to relive the little moments when both boys were smiling and engaged, with dry underwear and eyes wide with wonder. I noticed the subtle changes in their faces over the last few months. I marveled at how far both have come this summer in their physical abilities. And I smiled at the digital proof of their growing camaraderie.

I think it’s a good idea to do this once in awhile — to flip through the pics on our phones and scroll back through our Facebook updates about silly things our little ones have said and done. It’s particularly important for us stay-at-home parents entrenched in the everyday routines that, if we’re not careful, sometimes begin to feel like drudgery. Because every day our kids become different people, with stronger bodies and more expansive imaginations than the day before. And they deserve our excitement about every spashfest in the kiddie pool, not just the first time we fill it.

Turns out it really has been an incredible summer. Take a look....

Kostyn loves to torture himself with ice-cold water.
If Kostyn's not careful, Evan will soon find another use for that golf club he likes to carry around.
Shaker art activity. The shakers filled with glitter never made it back inside. We have the most magical-looking sandbox sand ever.
"Yeah. Great craft idea Mom. Glue and glitter and all sorts of other crap? Well done. Now clean me..."
Ev's first popsicle! He's giddy with the non-dairy sugar rush.
Washing their animals in a questionably clean "bathtub."
I love the size comparison here. This was taken at a county fair.
I swear his looks changed so much this summer.

See caption above.
I think this one sums up our summer perfectly.
Wait, so does this one.
Aaaand, this one.


Heather said...

I swear... we're on the same wave length!
I just went through all of my Facebook updates over the past year - tearing up over how much Griffin has changed. And me, too.

Lyn said...

Robyn ~

I am always moved by the things you post. It is obvious that God gifted you. But I am always moved... to the point of tears, when you chose to honestly share the things you are experiencing and feeling. It takes a serious set of balls to post something about how sometimes motherhood can be trying. It seems like society tells us that we are not allowed to have any problems with it...ever. You should savor every moment...enjoy each facial expression...even every tear, since, you know, if we lost them tomorrow, we'd give every last dime to hear ANYTHING from them...even if it was a tantrum or one of those marathon crying fests when NOTHING YOU DO HELPS and you want to rip your hair out trying....we'd give our last breath to hear it again...for even a moment. But that doesn't change the fact the temper tantrums can really bring you to your knees and the 9th read of the same barely functional english children's book make you want to scream...SOMETIMES!

So, i treasure the idea that here is another mom out there, somewhere, who is marveling and overwhelmed daily with the story of her children (or child, in my case) and their walk through life. Who is both regularly proud, scared, uplifted, challeneged, confident and humbled as a spectator of a life you helped to create.

Thanks for always putting it out there in away that helps me like there is someone else out there who TOTALLy gets it.

Rachel said...

Robyn - I LOVE the picture of the boys climbing the ladder. What a wonderful Kodak moment!

Robyn said...

Thanks gals! I really appreciate the comments. Lyn, I am indeed right there with ya on the good and the not-so-good.... :)
And Rachel - I, too, LOVE that ladder photo. It says so much.